Some days the sky hangs heavy and close –the grayness closing in. It wraps itself around me like a blanket, obscuring the clarity of vision. I look around with veiled eyes, able only to see that which is immediately in front of me, and even that comes with blurred edges. The placid water, fed by full streams, is there, but I cannot see it.
The mountains remain on guard, majestic crowns erected to the sky, but they slip from my view. Ocean’s tidal rhythm can be heard, but not witnessed.
Although at first unwelcome, because who wouldn’t prefer the glory of sunny rays, it
becomes familiar, insular, comforting. I become accustomed to blurred edges, to
looking only inches in front of me. There is a certain beauty in mist. The eyes do not become weary of clamoring detail. With limited vision comes limited knowledge, and with that, limited responsibility to respond to what becomes clear.
Some days, the Deceiver whispers that it is better to walk in haze, that this wet mantle is of value. He encourages me to carry the suffocation of never ending lists left undone. Wear the obligations that pull and tear like a badge of honor. She (or he) who is the most weighed down, who carries the heaviest load of service and responsibility, whose heart is the most burdened with hurt and struggle, it is that person who is closest to God and surely released (at least momentarily) from any further service or responsibility in Him. Yes, he even uses His name to veil my heart.
I continue from task to task, immovably imbedded in the routine of days, surrounded by the mist. The blessings of family, of work, of trials, of things, of church, become vehicles of entrapment rather than tethers to the Father’s loving heart. I allow the blessings to become burdens, to become walls that separate me from the strength, the joy, the peace…the Presence of God. This permission I give to the things and times of life, to distract me and deplete me, to bind me and quench the Spirit, is that which separates me from the Father. I choose this, over and over. He never does. I do. I choose the distance, the veil. Instead of walking by His side through the muck, I hurtle forward, head down, pretty sure He’s standing on the sidelines cheering me on, but completely forgetting that He participates in the race fully. He holds. He carries. He lifts me upon His back and runs when I can’t, in all the right directions when I can’t even see the turns.
Today, He gently reminds me. He calls me out of the droplets, and commands that they be swept aside, stripped of their power.
I formed you, you are my servant. O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me. I
have swept away your transgression like a cloud, and your sins like mist.
Return to me, for I have redeemed you. Isaiah 44:21,22
He is still there.
There is a richness, a fullness to be known, when God sweeps away the mist. The work does not disappear, neither do the crises, the concerns. All the tasks to be done remain, but in dispersing the mist, God reaches His hand down and touches me, carrying me through with clarity and strength and a closeness to His heart.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anyting else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
I rescind my permission today.